I believe that you are unfair to Jeffery Gray. As I have mentioned, his conclusion was that the modern science (here as accepted by a majority of scientists) cannot explain conscious phenomena. Hence, in a way he was ready to reconsider the accepted scientific framework.

The difference with your point is that according to him, mind, knowledge, and self is not related to conscious experience that he has considered. Well, you go other way around from math, he presumably would not agree with you. In this respect, you might be right.

Your statement

> But consciousness is a 100% first person "phenomenon", so it is doubtful
> that we will ever found it in the lab, where we can find only third
> person (or first person plural) describable phenomena.

in my view, contradicts to empirical science. I believe that I understand what you mean, I think I understand your logic. Yet, I am not sure I understand what a research program on consciousness you offer. What is the role of experimentalists in your research program?

On a related note. Prof Hoenen in his lectures of on Voraussetzung und Vorurteil (Prerequisite and Prejudice) talks quite awhile about Collingwood's An Essay on Metaphysics. According to Collingwood, your statements above seems to be an absolute presupposition, that is, a statement that we can take as it is but we cannot prove if it true or false.

It is worthy noting that during his historical analysis of absolute presuppositions, Collingwood came to the conclusion that monotheism was crucial for the success of the modern science. I have not read his book by myself, my knowledge is just from lectures, but this is a quote that I have found in Internet

“The very possibility of applied mathematics is an expression . . . of the Christian belief that nature is the creation of an omnipotent God.”

Some more what I have found to this end

The last paper on this page "Matter, Mathematics, and God" shows quite nicely a peculiar role of mathematics in science. If physicists accept that Nature obeys to the laws written by mathematical equations, then actually your position looks quite natural.


On 06.04.2012 10:52 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 05 Apr 2012, at 22:53, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:


When Gray considers would be explanations, he mentions dualism and
panpsychism (for example quantum consciousness). Yet, he does not give
an answer. His statement is that we do not have a theory of

However, the phenomenon is there and he has shown how to research it
in the lab.

But consciousness is a 100% first person "phenomenon", so it is doubtful
that we will ever found it in the lab, where we can find only third
person (or first person plural) describable phenomena.

So a theory of consciousness, or *about* consciousness can only be a
theory acknowledging some principle or axioms about the first person
view. This makes sense, if only because such axioms can be found for a
notion deeply related to consciousness, and which is knowledge. Most
research in the cognitive science , sufficiently theoretical, accept the
following axioms for knowledge, with Kp interpreted as "I know p":

Kp -> p
Kp -> KKp
K(p->q) -> (Kp -> Kq)

and with modus ponens and necessitation as inference rule (from p and
(p->q) you can derive q, and from p you can derive Kp).

This is the modal logic S4. Gödel already knew that in any "rich"
theory, provability cannot obey those S4 axioms, and later Kaplan and
Montague have shown that there is just no way we can define such notion
of knowledge, in any third person way, capable of playing that role,
confirming that S4 bears on a pure first person notion.
Yet, as seen by many philsopher (from Theatetus to the old
Wittgenstein), we can "simulate", at the meta-level such a knowledge by
taking any theory of belief, and defining knowledge by a belief which
happens to be true, so that we get the first axiom above. By a result of
Tarski, we know already that truth ---about a theory/machine---cannot be
defined---by the machine or in the theory. Accepting the knowledge
account of consciousness (as the knowldedge of one truth, may be a
tautology or just the constant boolean "t") explains then completely why
consciousness exist (like a true belief), and why we will never find it
in the lab. Now, if the belief notion can be finitely defined in a third
person way, this entails the comp hypothesis, and this does not solve
completely the mind-body problem. Indeed we might say that such a theory
does solve the hard consciousness problem, but as the UDA shows, it
introduces a new problem: we have to justify the stability of the lab
itself from that theory of consciousness. That is nice because it leads
to the first explanation of why there is a physical universe, and it
makes physics a branch of psychology or theology. Then the constraints
of computer science gives sense to this, because provability obeys to
believability axioms.
Put in another, perhaps provocative way, with comp, consciousness is not
that much difficult, it is a consequence of computer science and
mathematical logic, but we have yet to "find the lab in consciousness".
UDA shows why and how.
Gray is stuck by its aristotelian conception of reality.


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